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Thread: Xbox 360 connected to PC monitor, but it's soft/blurry...

  1. #1
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    Xbox 360 connected to PC monitor, but it's soft/blurry...

    I've got a 360 hooked up to a 22" monitor with a native resolution of 1680x1050, I notice the image is quite soft and/or blurry compared to when it's hooked up to the HDTV. I know this is what happens to PC games when they are played at a significantly lower resolution than the native, but is there any way to get around this with the 360? Any setting that I might be missing that increases the resolution or the sharpness of the image?

  2. #2
    New Romantic
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    What do you have it set to in the 360's display settings? If it's via the VGA adapter, you can switch the settings to something closer to your native resolution.

  3. #3
    World's End Supernova
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    What monitor? Maybe you can set it to 1:1 pixel mapping for 720p games. Black bars all over but no stretching.

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    I made this thread before I updated my system to the new dashboard which now lists my monitor's native resolution, however if there is an improvement it is minimal. Still doesn't look nearly as clear as on an HDTV.

    I have the Samsung SyncMaster T220.

    Do you guys use your 360 your PC monitor?

  5. #5
    World's End Supernova
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    What cable are you using for the input to the monitor? I would think the monitor would auto-set its resolution to the signal, the same way most HDTVs will auto-detect the resolution coming from a computer hooked up via DVI>HDMI.

  6. #6
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    The MS VGA cables, the resolution isn't the problem I don't believe because both the 360 and my monitor say the correct resolution.

  7. #7
    New Romantic
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    It looks great on my PC monitor (a Dell 2005FPW at 1680x1050), but I did find that the native resolution option did look a bit fuzzier. Resolutions like that are approaching the upper end of VGA bandwidth limits, though going through a KVM probably didn't help any.

    I found it actually looks best for me when set to 1280x768. (1280x720 should have worked as well, but looks really dark and washed out for some unknown reason.)

  8. #8
    Pillow Talk
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    I have mine hooked up to my 20.1 dell monitor as well. It looks very good using the MS VGA conector.

  9. #9
    New Romantic ydejin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridah View Post
    Do you guys use your 360 your PC monitor?
    I have mine hooked up to a Dell 27" via the component cables. It looks great.

  10. #10
    Social Worker Vesper's Avatar
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    Mine's hooked up with VGA to my Dell 2407. Looks awesome. Even though the monitor's native resolution is 1920x1200, that options isn't available on the dashboard, so I use 1680x1050.

  11. #11
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    I'm not saying it doesn't look good, necessarily. I just feel like the image is not as sharp a on an HDTV. Have you guys had extensive time playing the 360 on an HDTV?

  12. #12
    World's End Supernova
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    Do you sit as close to your HDTV as you do to your monitor? If your HDTV is doing the upconverting it might be doing a better job than your monitor. Also if your HDTV is only something like 1366x768 it will look better upconverting a 1280x720 signal to that than to a 1680x1050 monitor.

    Again, see if you can get a 1:1 pixel mode and set the 360 to something like 1280x720.

  13. #13
    New Romantic
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    I have a Samsung T240 which I connect my 360 to via HDMI.

    I noticed that if I changed the AV Mode to "Off", the picture was greatly improved. However, this setting may only impact the HDMI connection and not the VGA connection, though I haven't played around with it.

  14. #14
    World's End Supernova Chris Nahr's Avatar
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    Why are you not using DVI or HDMI? I'm surprised that anyone gets a decent image at all with VGA at that resolution.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Nahr View Post
    Why are you not using DVI or HDMI? I'm surprised that anyone gets a decent image at all with VGA at that resolution.
    Well, my PC currently uses the DVI port for one. Also, my monitor doesn't support HDMI. Perhaps that is the problem? Although everyone else says everything looks fine for them through VGA.

  16. #16
    New Romantic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridah View Post
    Well, my PC currently uses the DVI port for one. Also, my monitor doesn't support HDMI. Perhaps that is the problem? Although everyone else says everything looks fine for them.
    One option would be to use an HDMI-to-DVI adapter and route them both through a KVM.

    But seriously, try a lower resolution like 1280x768 and see if that helps. You wouldn't lose any detail in games since 99% of them are rendering to 1280x720 or lower anyway, and higher VGA resolutions do tend to introduce ghosting and fuzziness and other artifacts, and your monitor's scaler might be just as good as the 360's.

  17. #17
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    I've already tried lower resolutions with almost the exact same result in reach case, a noticeably lower level of sharpness than I would be seeing on an HDTV. I'm beginning to suspect it's my personal standards that are differentiating me from everyone else.

  18. #18
    World's End Supernova
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    I'm beginning to suspect you won't make the necessary effort to probably diagnose this problem. I don't care if your PC is using the DVI port and you only have HDMI out of the 360. Get a damn adapter from monoprice for $10 and try it to rule out the VGA cable. Have you done the 1:1 pixel mapping option on your monitor like I told you? Did you find out what your TV resolution is yet?

    This is basic problem solving; "it looks fuzzy and I've tried everything" is not.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim James View Post
    I'm beginning to suspect you won't make the necessary effort to probably diagnose this problem. I don't care if your PC is using the DVI port and you only have HDMI out of the 360. Get a damn adapter from monoprice for $10 and try it to rule out the VGA cable. Have you done the 1:1 pixel mapping option on your monitor like I told you? Did you find out what your TV resolution is yet?

    This is basic problem solving; "it looks fuzzy and I've tried everything" is not.
    1:1 pixel mapping is automatic, from what I've researched. . I haven't tried the DVI adaptor yet.

  20. #20
    New Romantic
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    It won't look at sharp as it would on an HDTV because even after the recent dashboard update, the 360 is still having to upconvert the signal to your monitor's resolution, which is not the same as changing the resolution setting in a PC game. The 360 doesn't actually render the games in that higher resolution, so any fuzziness you're noticing is due to that. So if you're comparing the picture to what you'd get on an HDTV, you'll likely never be satisfied without changing to a lower resolution monitor.

    So yeah, it's likely an issue of you expecting it to look better than it can. I went through the same thing when I first bought my 360 and tried to use it on an LCD monitor. It definitely wasn't a setup issue, just an expectation issue.

  21. #21
    New Romantic
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    I see the same thing on my Xbox/LCD monitor setup and you pretty much get used to it, go crazy or hook the console up to an actual TV.

    I went with the first option as it was the easiest and had the fewest side effects.

  22. #22
    New Romantic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridah View Post
    1:1 pixel mapping is automatic, from what I've researched. . I haven't tried the DVI adaptor yet.
    One caveat about using a DVI adapter that I forgot to mention: you might also need to buy something like this in order to split off the audio to regular RCA jacks, since DVI won't carry the audio part. I think only the Elites come with that adapter already, unless they've been including it in newer HDMI systems as well.

    (If you decide on it as a permanent solution, anyway. It wouldn't be necessary just for testing the picture.)

  23. #23
    World's End Supernova
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridah View Post
    1:1 pixel mapping is automatic, from what I've researched. . I haven't tried the DVI adaptor yet.
    You don't need to research. If it's truly automatic, you will see black bars around the edges of the image when you lower the resolution in the Xbox360 below 1680x1050.

    An HDTV has to get the image upconverted as well. It's all fixed-pixel stuff. It just might be that the TV does a better job of it than a computer monitor. Or any other number of things that really need to be eliminated in a systematic fashion.

  24. #24
    New Romantic
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    If you're going in via VGA, check your monitor's on screen menu for some sort of "sync" or "auto" button. Helps it glom on to the analog signal and fudge the right pixels to the right, er... pixel on your display. Whatever. You know what I mean. My brain isn't working.

    I have a Samsung 22" monitor I run an Xbox 360 into via VGA. Set the res to 1680x1050, and it looks very sharp indeed. Of course the dashboard text is a little fuzzy because it's got some memory limitations and stuff, but I can very clearly see all the pixels of a game - stair-steps on edges of objects and so on. It's very clear.

    Games are 16:9 instead of 16:10 so I actually get very slim black bars on the top and bottom, but it otherwise fills the display.

  25. #25
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    I run my Syncmaster 226BW through VGA cables and its very sharp, I'd say sharper than my tv - though that's probably the result of going from CRT to LCD. My resolution is 1680x1050.

  26. #26
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    I've set the signal and image size to auto, I do get horizontal bars in 1680x1050 and vertical bars at resolutions lower than that. However, any change in settings I make in the console or the monitor makes no difference in the soft image I get. It looks exactly how a PC game looks when played at a resolution significantly lower than the monitor's native resolution, with the exception of the UI itself.

    I'm going to try the VGA->DVI adaptor and see if that makes a difference, I'll report back with my results.

  27. #27
    World's End Supernova
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    Get a HDMI-DVI adapter. Try to get out of analog.

  28. #28
    New Romantic
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    You're probably sitting closer to the monitor than you are to the TV. Get a protractor (or something) out and measure the angle that the monitor subtends from your normal viewing position.

    If you're sitting two feet away from a 22" monitor, that's a 44 degree angle. If your HDTV is 42", then you'd get the same angle of view by sitting less than four feet away, which I bet you don't do.

    Move your chair back a few feet and look at the monitor, and see if it doesn't have the sharpness you're used to on your HDTV.

  29. #29
    How To Go
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    Did you futz with the reference settings in the Xbox 360 video setup?

  30. #30
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    I've tried moving back a few more feet, extending my viewing distance from between 2 and 3 feet to 4 and 5 feet. Viewing distance simply isn't the issue.

    As far as the reference levels, I've tried them all.

    Will buy the DVI adaptor later today.

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